Does Texas Have A Vaccine Exemption?

Welcome to this Thursday version of my Wednesday Q & A, sorry I didn't get this up yesterday, but I felt this was an important question that I didn't want overshadowing by our great ADHD webinar last night.

I was shocked when I got this question from a patient not too long ago.  They showed me a letter they received from the Plano Independent School District, that stated:

“Dear Plano ISD parent, I want to make you aware of some additional immunizations that will be required for the 2014 school year The changes will amend 25 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 97, Subchapter B, 97.61; 97.63-97.72.  Following are immunizations that will be affected:

Meningococcal Vaccine
One dose requirements for seventh – twelfth-grade entry
Varicella Vaccine
Two dose requirements for kindergarten – fifth and seventh – twelfth
grade entry
Tdap Vaccine (Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis)
Booster dose required for seventh grade
MMR Vaccine (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella)
Two dose requirement of MMR vaccine for kindergarten – fifth-grade entry
Hepatitis A Vaccine
Two Dose requirements for kindergarten – fifth-grade entry

Proof of these immunizations will be required for the 2014-2015 school year and will be required for school attendance.  Please provide your school nurse proof of immunization at the time the vaccine is received as this will provide faster service on your students schedule pick up day.  If you have questions or concerns, I recommend discussing these with your physician.  The school nurse at your campus will be able to provide you with a list of locations where you can receive these immunizations. 

For further assistance, please contact the school nurse at your campus or visit"

“Dear Parents:  Please see attached report.  Your child will need the highlighted immunizations to start the 7th grade in the fall.  It will save a lot of time for you to get these done and turned in before June.  Any 6th grader who does not have an up to date record will have a hold placed on their schedule.  Records faxed, e-mailed, or mailed to the school over the summer will not be reviewed until schedule pick up week.”

Well if I had read this letter as a parent, I would have believed that the legislature changed the code and now requires that my child has all of these vaccinations.  The simple fact is, this isn’t true.  In Texas, you can still opt out for your children or yourself for reasons of conscience.  It makes me irate that nowhere in this letter is there even a hint that you have the right to a vaccine exemption.

I won't even get into the debate on whether vaccines are effective or even safe.  However, the fact that the government officials are attempting to control our bodies and take away our free will around what we put into our bodies makes me ill. And what's really sad it's not just about us, but to the most fragile and possibly, most important segment of the population, our children.

What we have to realize is that all medical interventions, including vaccination, require a free and informed consent.  Which means that you should be free, directly and totally be informed of the potential dangers of having or not having the intervention.  If we abridge that right, it is a violation of everything this country was founded upon.  While it’s true vaccines may protect some, they undoubtedly hurt or cause death to others.  For our government to force its population to take a potentially life-threatening intervention, we have truly lost our way as a free state.

The question that arises from this letter to me is, can the government legally withhold essential rights and privileges, such as a public school in this instance to induce compliance? The answer is not yet, at least here in Texas.  You do have the right to file an “Affidavit Request for Exemption from Immunizations for Reasons of Conscience.”  You can fill out this form and have it sent to your home; when a school asks for immunization, you get this form notarized and take it to the school.  Each affidavit is good for two years and should keep your child safe from the vaccinations, should you choose free will.  Another aggravating thing about the letter is that the site that they send you too is purely pro-vaccine propaganda and there is no mention of your right to object and refuse these injections.  I'll save more of my rant about vaccinations for a future post, but for now, you will find links below to the affidavit site and the frequently asked questions document about the exemption forms.

Affidavit site

FAQ document  The info is hard to find, but it is a PDF file about 3/4 of the way down the page below the title Exclusions from Immunization Requirements.

Enjoy and as always if you have any questions email me at [email protected]

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